TIPS tested Care ViraSoothe gel Print

TIPS-tested Care ViraSoothe™ Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel
(September 2011 - May 2012)

I am delighted to bring you the final results of our latest one-off trial of ViraSoothe™ Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel.

This product helps relieve the irritating symptoms of chickenpox. It mustn’t be used with babies under 6 months.

ViraSoothe is available on prescription but can also be bought over the counter.

Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it a TIPS Must-have Award.

Read more about this trial by clicking on the links below:


Care ViraSoothe™ Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel

RRP: £5.73 for 50g (11.4p/ml) and £8.33 for 75g (11.1p/ml)
All prices include VAT and delivery in the UK
Available from Boots, Morrison's, Sainsbury’s, Asda Pharmacy, Lloyds Pharmacy, The Cooperative Pharmacy, Rowlands Pharmacy, Independent Pharmacies and online.

Supplied and manufactured by Thornton & Ross Ltd, Manchester Road, Linthwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5QH



Care ViraSoothe is a clear unscented gel developed to soothe and calm the itch of chickenpox spots. Our 19 Testers' ages ranged from seven months to five years. They used the gel for a period of three days to three weeks. Testers liked the consistency which makes the gel easy to apply. It was non-greasy, non-sticky and even non-staining. One Tester suggested that a pump action bottle would make the gel easier to dispense, although the tube is easy to use.

Testers told us that Care ViraSoothe gel did exactly what the information promised: it cooled and soothed itchy chickenpox spots. Testers were especially impressed that unlike more traditional remedies this product did not make skin dry. If applied during the night most Testers even found that their child managed to sleep better - this is another great reason for using this product.

Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it a TIPS Must-have Award.

Here are some of the Testers’ comments:
  • [What I liked best about the gel is that] It works as it says it does to reduce the itching and bring instant relief. Also that it is clear and doesn’t stain clothes.
  • I would definitely recommend to other parents. It seems that it’s taken a long time to develop a product for chickenpox that actually works and everyone should know about it!
  • My child was waking 4 times a night prior to using it. Once we started using Care Virasoothe she only woke up once a night, we reapplied and she went back to sleep.
  • I was quite sceptical before testing Care ViraSoothe but it did seem to help so I think it probably exceeded my expectations ;-)

[back to top]


When considering products for testing, I aim to source what I believe to be the best products on the market. Where such a product is quite unique, I will set up a one-off trial - TIPS did this for the Kamillosan thermometer soother, the Shampoo Rinse Cup, Miracle™ Scarves, Miracle™ Bands, the Dribblebuster® bib, the Aquasolari bed pad, Ella’s Kitchen baby food,  Bentley Organic toy sanitizer and the Swimava products.

The decision to undertake a TIPS one-off trial is based on a product’s unique features. I decided to go ahead with a TIPS trial of the ViraSoothe™ Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel because it appeared to fulfill the criteria for a safe and natural anti-itch product.


What is chicken pox?

  • Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease that is common in children.
  • It's caused by the Varicella-zoster virus.
  • The incubation period between infection and spots appearing is 10-20 days.
  • It causes itchy red spots to appear in batches every few days - these spots blister and crust over then heal within 7-10 days.
  • Chicken pox causes a slight increase in temperature but symptoms are not usually serious in children.
  • It is more serious with adults whose symptoms can take longer to disappear.
  • In the UK about 600,000 people get chickenpox every year.
  • By the age of 12, 9 out of 10 people have had chickenpox - and will usually not catch it again.
  • It seems that more and more very young children get chickenpox - this is probably because they go to nurseries where they are more likely to pick up infections.
[back to top]


For this trial we sent out 19 tubes of ViraSoothe™ Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel to parents with children aged six months to five years of age, who were suffering from chickenpox at the time. The age range for testing was set at 6 months to 12 years.

We used the same methodology and criteria we use when testing baby wipes and baby skincare products. This is described below.


Selecting the products - Manufacturers are asked to:

  • include the following (or similar) statement in their marketing information whether on pack, in leaflets or online: “Recent research suggests that it is safer to use plain water for baby skincare for at least the first month of life”
  • submit the full International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) list of chemical ingredients for each product to TIPS Ltd before any trial (ideally this list should be posted online on the company website so it is available for anyone to refer to). Full Latin names must be used and every ingredient must be listed
  • agree to follow the TIPS principles of safe baby skincare practices. In line with the most up-to-date national guidelines, these principles are explained in the Babycare-back to basics™ leaflet. This information can be accessed online and printed copies are available on request. TIPS safe baby skincare principles must be promoted in advertising and marketing material.
Products will be excluded if they contain:
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate SLES)
  • Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben)
  • Phthalates
  • Triclosan
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (triethanolamine)
  • Methylchloroisothiazolonone (MIT) or Methylisothiazolinone (MIT).
Products may be excluded if they contain:
  • Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
  • Benzoates (Benzoic acid, sodium benzoate or parahydroxy benzoate)
  • petrochemicals
  • synthetic fragrances
  • essential oils


[back to top]

Guidelines for testing (these were supplied to all Testers)

Please read the following information before you start testing this product.

  • Do not use ViraSoothe if you know you or your child is allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • We would like you to use ViraSoothe for as long as you feel is necessary to calm your child’s itchy chickenpox spots, and then complete the questionnaire.
This is how you should use this product:
  • wash and dry hands
  • rub the gel into the skin sparingly with a light massaging action
  • apply two to three times a day or whenever relief is needed.

  • ViraSoothe can be used all over the face and body.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • ViraSoothe is for external use only.


[back to top]


Completing the questionnaire

Pre-filled answers

For each baby skincare product we have checked:

  • the formulation
  • recyclability of packaging
  • where a product is made (manufacturing in the UK reduces a company’s carbon footprint).

Answers to questions on these topics are pre-filled in your questionnaire.

You will have to answer questions on the following topics:

  • Design of product – did you enjoy the graphics?
  • Information on product and online: does the manufacturer include a full list of ingredients online and on pack? Does the manufacturer give advice on using water-only for the first month in their marketing literature?
  • Scent: does the product smell fresh or is it unpleasant? In order to be safe products should have minimal perfumes (preferably natural or organic in origin).
  • Ease of use: is the product easy to dispense and easy to apply? Does it absorb into the skin without any stickiness or leaving any residue behind?
  • Price: by calculating the RRP of each product then dividing it by the volume we get a cost per ml. This information is provided for each product but will not form part of the overall score. However this will give a good idea of cost-effectiveness although a little can go a long way so price may not be as important as you think.
  • Adverse reactions: did you notice any adverse reactions when using this product (this may include rashes, spots or red areas caused by the product you are testing).
  • Feedback: tell us about your favourite features, suggestions for modifications, and whether you would recommend this product
  • Awards: you will be able to suggest an award from our recommended list


As you can see, there are many aspects of design and formulation to assess when testing this seemingly simple product. A well-designed baby skincare product will fulfil all the needs of parent and baby and should:

  • list all ingredients and ideally explain why these ingredients have been used – this information should be on-pack and online
  • provide consumers with the latest advice on baby skincare
  • be safe and gentle, even on delicate skin
  • not include harsh ingredients or unnecessary additives
  • be made in the UK from bio-degradable materials, and
  • be sold in recyclable packaging.

This can only be achieved when manufacturers pay close attention to detail at all stages of the manufacturing process.

I hope you will find these guidelines useful when testing baby skincare products.

Thank you again for all your hard work. You can be sure that your independent testing and comments will help to give parents the best and most unbiased advice available.

Kindest regards

Sharon Trotter - Founder and Director of TIPS Ltd

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


References: Trotter S (2008). Baby care – back to basics™ leaflet. TIPS Limited, Scotland


[back to top]

Disclaimer.  TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products that have been submitted for the testing programme. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and whilst every effort is made by TIPS Ltd to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice of their midwife, health visitor, lactation consultant or GP if they have any concerns. 

TIPS Ltd© 2012

[back to top]


award logo


Apply for a license to use the TIPS trademarks
[back to top]